Speaker 1: This is Techstrong TV.
Alan Shimel: Hi everyone. Hey, we’re back here live in Chicago, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, day two, continuing our coverage, we’ve got some great people lined up to bring you today. We started just now with Dan Garfield from Argo and Codefresh, and my next guest is my friend Brad Meltzer…
Brad Maltz: Maltz.
Alan Shimel: I screwed this up… He’s my friend, and why do I think Meltzer?
Brad Maltz: I don’t know, it’s a good New York name.
Alan Shimel: No, I knew a Richard Meltzer.
Brad Maltz: There you go.
Alan Shimel: I’ll tell you a great story about him off camera, he was a tech entrepreneur, a miserable failure of a tech entrepreneur.
Brad Maltz: Okay.
Alan Shimel: His wife though, invented the things, you know how you’ve got holes in Crocs?
Brad Maltz: Yes.
Alan Shimel: His wife invented the things that go into those holes. He closed down his venture backed startup, his wife sold those to Crocs, and they’ve lived happily ever after.
Brad Maltz: And I hope he’s watching this.
Alan Shimel: Richard Meltzer. He’s from Boulder, Colorado. Hey man, how are you, Meltzer?
Anyway, that took me down a rabbits nest. Brad is with us… Actually shout out, right? Dell Technologies is sponsoring our broadcast this year from KubeCon again, as they did in Amsterdam last year, and a large part of it is due to Brad, Brad is a director…
Brad Maltz: Senior director of-
Alan Shimel: Senior director.
Brad Maltz: Of the DevOps portfolio and DevRel.
Alan Shimel: There you said it. Now a lot of you may be asking at home, wow, I didn’t know Dell was involved in DevOps and DevRel, or in CNCF.
Brad Maltz: Yep.
Alan Shimel: I got a Dell, right? I got a Dell box-
Brad Maltz: You’ve got your laptop.
Alan Shimel: I got the Dell server and stuff like that, but there’s more to today’s Dell than the boxes. So Brad, I don’t want to embarrass you, but I’m going to put you on the spot here.
Brad Maltz: Go for it.
Alan Shimel: Talk to us about, I want everyone at home to understand what your group does and how involved you are, not just in CNCF, but in the DevOps community, the DevRel community.
Brad Maltz: Yeah, so basically over the past year and a half, we’ve been making sure to kind of expand our community outreach, specifically around the DevOps stuff. When I took over the role in product management to help kind of build out further our container strategy, our infrastructure as code strategy, we didn’t realize that we needed a DevRel-like function to help kind of expand our community outreach, our advocacy back into Dell.
And the reason for that is, what a lot of people don’t know is, I mean, we play across the entire ecosystem of CNCF, right?
Alan Shimel: Absolutely.
Brad Maltz: We bring Containers and Kubernetes solutions to market, we play in the AIML space, the security spaces. We’re enabling ecosystems around us with our technology.
So because of that, having DevRel was extremely important. We spun up podcasts, we have what we call our DevOps Dispatch, which we’re actually recording here at CNCF, and you can get that on YouTube and Spreaker. We have developer.dell.com which we relaunched last year, and now it’s kind of taken off, hands-on labs and blogs and a whole bunch of stuff on there. So for us, the evangelism’s important, but the advocacy for our end users is more important back into Dell.
Alan Shimel: Got it. So we talked about the… I don’t want to use the word infrastructure, but the infrastructure of how you’re reaching out.
Brad Maltz: Infrastructure matters.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely. But I want people at home to understand that behind that infrastructure though is real solutions.
Brad Maltz: Exactly.
Alan Shimel: Right? Because part of the whole Dell Technologies thing, it’s solutions. It’s not just a PR marketing kind of… Though we see it here on the show floor, and the podcast and all these things. Let’s talk about the solutions you guys bring.
Brad Maltz: Yeah, so I mean, a great example is, and this show is actually a big one for us, we just recently have launched our APEX Cloud platforms, and we did one with Azure Stack, we just did one with Red Hat with OpenShift, and that’s actually one of the big things here.
And what you’re going to see more and more of from us is the ability to take our compute, with our storage, our networking, integration with our ecosystem partners, but give you more of that easy button experience, give you more of the turnkey experience, or even the DIY. We’re always been good at the DIY.
Alan Shimel: Yeah, that was DNA…
Brad Maltz: But right now, can we get you more of those easy buttons, right? And that’s exactly where something like ACP for Red Hat here, is if you just want to be able to get OpenShift up and running from the factory as quickly as possible with the least amount of hands as possible, you’re looking at things like our solutions like ACP. And the trick is when you look at solutions, are they just white papers, [inaudible 00:04:57], which are really invaluable to certain people?
Or is it a factory delivered end-to-end platform experience that delivers that Cloud-like experience and developer experience, on top of the infrastructure, plus plus.
Alan Shimel: Guys, let’s not minimize that, that makes life a lot easier. I mean, I think back to the first DockerCon… It wasn’t the first, but it was the first one in Austin, because before that DockerCon was in Seattle, this is going back a while. And I saw Kubernetes there, I think it was maybe 0.8 was the release, it wasn’t-
Brad Maltz: It was early.
Alan Shimel: It was early. I came home, because at the time, we hadn’t launched Cloud Native Now, and before that it was Container Journal, we hadn’t launched it yet, we were still coming up with the names, and we were toying around with names with Docker in it, which would’ve been a mistake… Well on multiple levels.
But I came home and told the team, I said, “Look, everybody at DockerCon is talking about this thing called Kubernetes, but it’s never going to catch on. It’s so God damn hard, I don’t know how anyone would use it.”
Brad Maltz: Why do you think you didn’t bet on that?
Alan Shimel: Well, this is why I still work and I’m not retired, Brad.
Brad Maltz: Okay.
Alan Shimel: Yeah… Another brilliant insight from Alan Shimel… So now with that being said, I’ll stand by my original point, Kubernetes is still hard.
Brad Maltz: Yes,
Alan Shimel: It is. I don’t care, I’ll work till I die, I guess, but it’s hard.
Brad Maltz: Kubernetes is hard, and I think… So Kubernetes hit a maturity point, right? So definitely it won.
Alan Shimel: No doubt.
Brad Maltz: And everybody needs it. It’s leading the Cloud Native application kind of abstraction battle, so it’s there, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be a jack of all trades to be able to understand all the nuances in the abstraction. And you basically have to be able to operate everything under the covers of Kubernetes to make Kubernetes work properly.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely.
Brad Maltz: So what is the real long-term easy button? That’s I think an open question right now for Kubernetes. Opportunity.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely, I don’t want to get [inaudible 00:07:10], maybe the easy button is something other than Kubernetes?
Brad Maltz: That is always a potential.
Alan Shimel: Yeah. But let’s get back to our point here though, so now you get Red Hat OpenShift, right?
Red Hat OpenShift is probably, I guess the most, certainly in the top two Kubernetes platforms, if you will, if you’re using Kubernetes. And it’s still a little hard, right? I mean, you could go download it from Red Hat-
Brad Maltz: You can get it running, but you’ve still got to have some knowledge behind it to do the basics.
Alan Shimel: But this is where the easy button comes in.
Brad Maltz: Yes.
Alan Shimel: And also, I want to make clear, when we talk about this easy button, a lot of people say, look, why do I get it from Dell? I don’t want hardware, I’m hosting it in the cloud.
Brad Maltz: But are you? That’s the question. So when people talk about-
Alan Shimel: I wouldn’t have asked you if it was the… Okay…
Brad Maltz: With cloud, it’s always, yeah, you have the super easy button in the public cloud, they’ve done an amazing job there. But you get to deal with things like egress fees, you got to deal with things like costs for ongoing costs for a lot of services behind that. And at some point people start to become cost conscious, so that’s one angle that you deal with.
The second angle, in this new AI world that we’re now officially in as of 2023, you do start to wonder where’s your data living? Where do you want your data to live? And you’ve got the governance compliance side of it. Not security as much, but it’s more the ownership governance. And we’re seeing a lot of people say, you know what, with all those GPUs, there’s a cost and a governance angle to hosting it in my data center, in a Colo, Cloud adjacent and Cloud aware.
Alan Shimel: Yep.
Brad Maltz: So that’s where I see things like ACP for Red Hat 100% making sense.
Alan Shimel: I agree with you 100%. I think there’s another angle here though, and that is this: Unless you’re really in it, and you may not realize this, but Kubernetes on bare metal, Kubernetes in a data center, not in the public cloud, has always been a big component of the Kubernetes footprint.
Brad Maltz: Yes.
Alan Shimel: Everybody just assumed, puts the words Cloud Native and Kubernetes Cloud Native, that it’s all in the big three clouds, right?
Brad Maltz: Yep.
Alan Shimel: Well, even beyond Oracle, IBM and the rest, but there’s always been a Kubernetes on-prem.
Brad Maltz: There always has been, and there always will be.
Alan Shimel: It’ll continue, it will be-
Brad Maltz: I think it’s going to grow.
Alan Shimel: Right, well, I think for the reasons you’ve outlined, right? People are worried about control, they are worried about compliance, they are worried about how’s AI play in all this and cost containment and FinOps and everything else.
So I think that again is an insight that if you’re not really wired into the Kubernetes community, you don’t-
Brad Maltz: You don’t think about it.
Alan Shimel: Recognize… Yeah, excellent. Let’s talk about the show a little bit, so you guys are podcasting here live as you said, but what about conversations? I don’t know, I heard today there’s maybe eight, maybe up to eight to 10,000 people or something like that.
Brad Maltz: Feels like that, yep.
Alan Shimel: Conversations with people; what are you hearing? What are you seeing?
Brad Maltz: A lot of the conversations right now are actually… So I’ve had a lot of AI discussions, which-
Alan Shimel: So do we.
Brad Maltz: I mean I expected it, but they’re kind of interesting because they’re not just about how do I build AI things, it’s how do I use AI operationally?
And I think that’s the nuance that I’m seeing CNCF, maybe in the forward-looking view of the world, is how do we apply AI in the operational side of things like Kubernetes and security and all of that. That’s been a handful of, not a large percentage of conversations. There’s always… Actually the easy button thing, honestly, that’s probably been one of the biggest things.
People are just, they don’t have enough skills out there, and actually one of the other things is Platform engineering. So one of the things you can see on my shirt, right? We have this-
Alan Shimel: I saw it, I saw it when you came in.
Brad Maltz: This is our logo that we have here, at Amsterdam, we kind of have this DevOps operating model yin yang where Dev and Ops have to play well together, cats and dogs have to come and be nice.
Well enter Platform engineering, and these folks building the platforms that are like products inside of the end user environment, they need to adopt and embrace the DevOps operating model in their world. Platform engineering has been one of the buzzwords, I think it has been a big conversation for us here as well.
Alan Shimel: Absolutely. Hey, just a quick plug for Techstrong, if you don’t mind, on the topic of operationalizing AI.
We actually, I mentioned to you off camera, we did this hackathon about two months ago at our office with some of the founders of the DevOps movement, around operationalizing AI. And we recorded it-
Brad Maltz: Oh, that’s awesome.
Alan Shimel: We recorded all the sessions and we’ve just about got done editing now to make it manageable, and it’ll be out on Techstrong TV, I think in the next week or so. So if operationalizing AI is something you are into, go check that out. Edited, created totally by our Techstrong video team and starring some really cool people, so-
Brad Maltz: That’s awesome.
Alan Shimel: Looking to hear that about it. All right, enough of my own plugs. Brad, what else have you got for us?
Brad Maltz: I mean, right now I think it’s just an exciting time to be in CNCF, in the community, in the industry, right?
I mean, what’s interesting, I had seen, funnily enough a meme, that popped up in one of my social media threads, it talked about over 2000 years, the acceleration was like: The horse and buggy to the horse and buggy and everything was very flat, and all of a sudden the last 100, 150 years… Right now it feels like this year, and the past of one or two years, technology is accelerating at such a fast rate that we as an industry, can we keep up with it skills wise and people wise and career-wise?
I feel like going into the next few years, we’re definitely going to have this skills challenge, and I think that’s one thing that I’m going to be focusing on a lot is how do we enable the industry, as technology just keeps evolving around us? I think that’s a big thing personally for me.
Alan Shimel: So I will tell you, I’m a little older than you, a little… I don’t disagree with you except I think it’s even bigger than… It’s not just about this industry.
Brad Maltz: Yep.
Alan Shimel: I think the kinds of changes we’re seeing now is almost akin to when the internet first went public, right? So this is how I divide things, there are technology innovations that have a profound impact on the technology industry. I’ll give you a perfect example, the cloud. The cloud changed a lot of how we do tech, right?
I mean, your grandma may say, “Where’s your pictures, grandma?”
And she says, “They’re in the cloud…”
Whether they were in the cloud or in the server [inaudible 00:14:33] or whatever, it didn’t make a difference to grandma, but it made a difference to us in this industry, we had to know about cloud security and deployments and everything that goes along with cloud and it kind of rocked our world.
Then there are technology innovations that rock civilization: the internet rocked civilization, think about life before the internet. It’s a very different-
Brad Maltz: Cell phones.
Alan Shimel: Cell phones rocked civilization. So there are things that transcend technology markets, and I think we’re in one of those layers right now where things like AI and quite frankly, look, quantum is going to be real-
Brad Maltz: At some point, it’s just going to magically happen to everybody.
Alan Shimel: Boom. I read an article last week the very first time they broke RSA 256.
Brad Maltz: Yeah, I saw that.
Alan Shimel: With quantum. That’s crazy stuff, if you’re not up on it out there. But I feel like all of these things are converging to create another civilization changing and it couldn’t come at a better time because God knows we need it.
Brad Maltz: We do. I’m with you, AI is going to be the next… It’s not even going to be, it is the next thing. And one last note on that for me, when we talk about in product management and Dell Technologies land, like our end users are people? Not anymore… The end users of our technology might actually be the AI, so we have to figure out what is the personality of an AI in the future? There’s a lot of things to think about.
Alan Shimel: What is the AI wanting and looking for?
Brad Maltz: That’s it.
Alan Shimel: Nuts. All right. Hey Brad, you know what we didn’t mention? Hey, people who want to go visit the website, what’s the url?
Brad Maltz: Obviously at dell.com, we have developer.dell.com now, so please focus on developer.dell.com. Go there, you can get all the latest events, newsletters sign up, hands-on labs, you name it. And you can reach out to me on LinkedIn, and if you have any questions, we’ll help you out.
Alan Shimel: Fantastic. All right, we are live here in Chicago. We’re going to be back with our next guest in a second in KubeCon. Go check out developer.dell.com, and many thanks to Dell Technologies for sponsoring us here at KubeCon. We’ll be back in a minute.